Jockey Frankie Dettori said he was “very ashamed and embarrassed” after being banned for six months after testing positive for cocaine.
In an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News just days away from his return to riding, Dettori confirmed for the first time that he had taken cocaine.
The rider was suspended for six months by French racing authority France Galop after returning a positive test following a routine examination at Longchamp on 16 September last year.
Dettori was subsequently banned in December but is poised to return to action at Leicester on Monday evening. He said: “I’m very ashamed and embarrassed, and paid a very big price for it, you know. I spent six months not doing the thing that I love, racing. Things were going bad, I was depressed and I guess a moment of weakness and I fell for it and I’ve only got myself to blame.”
In the interview, the 42-year-old will also address the steroid scandal at the yard of Mahmood Al Zarooni, trainer for his former stables Godolphin.
Meanwhile, jockey Eddie Ahern could learn his fate next Wednesday when a disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority reconvenes to discuss the charges against him. Ahern, 35, was charged with conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to the laying of five horses between September 2010 and February 2011.